Cisneros fulfills dreams in Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car

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Eduardo Cisneros: "For me I think the highlight is always going back to the track and doing better than I did the previous year."

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Nov. 6, 2013) - Owning a Porsche was a lifelong dream for Eduardo Cisneros. He grew up watching his dad drive the iconic vehicle and immediately after securing his first job, Cisneros took out a loan to become a first-time Porsche owner. With a lifelong aspiration fulfilled, a lifelong rivalry began.

Following Eduardo's Porsche purchase, younger brothers Henrique and Andres Cisneros each bought Porsches for the street. The question needed to be answered: 'Which brother is the fastest?'

"We are all big Porsche lovers," Eduardo Cisneros said. "Being very close and competitive we started doing the typical driving events just to get out on a track. The rivalry started right away to see who was faster but unfortunately we all had different cars. It was obvious we needed to buy the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car and after a few IMSA events we were finally able to get the most out of it in a safe environment."

Cisneros recently completed his fourth year in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama Series. In his first two years Cisneros raced in the Gold Cup class before moving up to the Platinum Cup class for the 2012 and 2013 seasons. He enjoys the ability to push the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car to its limits. The NGT Motorsport driver has come a long way since his first time in the seat of a Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car. At the time, Cisneros was driving a twin turbo Porsche as a street car that had more than 550 horsepower.

Eduardo Cisneros
Eduardo Cisneros

Photo by: Eric Gilbert

"I looked at the specs and it said something like 420 horsepower," Cisneros recalls of his first GT3 Cup car experience. "I thought, 'How will I drive this after the monster I've had out on the road?' The first time I got in, (NGT team owner) Ramez Wahab was there and he told me to make sure the gas is all the way down before upshifting and that I didn't need to put in the clutch. I said, 'OK no problem'.

Cisneros got in the car, shifted to first gear, left the gas all the way in and got up to second gear. He then immediately slammed on the brakes, and got out.

"The car was a rocketship compared to what I was used to!" Cisneros exclaimed. "Because of the weight it was not comparable whatsoever to my street car. It was a lot faster than I thought it would be and it's been a great car to drive ever since."

Now that Cisneros has a few seasons under his belt, he is beginning to learn the tricks to mastering the technical vehicle. The Coral Gables, Fla.-native manages his weight and stays in shape now more than ever knowing that every pound adds time to his trips around the circuit.

"Until you drive it's hard to explain to people how physically and mentally challenging driving is as a sport," Cisneros said. "The shape you have to be in is a lot more than I ever thought. And the biggest issue and lesson for me is the mental concentration needed."

If Cisneros finds his mind drifting back to the office or thinking about work, he knows his results for the weekend will be less than ideal. Competing at such a high level in the GT3 Cup Challenge USA demands full attention.

NGT Motorsport team owner Ramez Wahab and Henrique Cisneros
NGT Motorsport team owner Ramez Wahab and Henrique Cisneros

Photo by: Eric Gilbert

"It's amazing that if you don't manage that focus you won't achieve the times you need or you will spin and get yourself into trouble," Cisneros explains. "I think I've improved in trying to separate my work and make sure it gets out of my brain before I get into the car."

Cisneros is the CEO of Cisneros Corporation, a family conglomerate of various businesses. Six years ago Eduardo's father passed the reins onto him, where he now works alongside his two brothers, Henrique and Andres. They now operate different businesses, many in Venezuela.

"We are a very diversified group with companies ranging from a professional baseball team to beer and spirits companies and even a Spanish soap opera production company," Cisneros said. "I have my hands full worrying about everything that arises especially in Venezuela."

But on race weekends troubles are pushed to the side and the Cisneros brothers have a chance to spend time together. When asked about the highlight of his career, Cisneros says every weekend is a highlight because it means spending time with his brothers or his NGT Motorsport family.

"Ramez Wahab is a stand up guy," Cisneros said. "He's a great individual with a great heart and on top of it he really knows his stuff. We have always managed to get the car with the right setup right before we need it. They have a great group of people working with them that's very knowledgeable especially about Porsches. It's been a true pleasure being part of this team."

NGT Motorsport finished third in the Platinum Cup team standings in 2013, with Eduardo coming in 13th overall in Platinum Cup in the No. 29 entry.

Eduardo Cisneros and Henrique Cisneros
Eduardo Cisneros and Henrique Cisneros

Photo by: Eric Gilbert

After contesting the past few seasons in the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón, NGT will also compete in the newly formed TUDOR United SportsCar Championship in 2014. Eduardo's brother Henrique Cisneros made his debut in the GTC category in 2011.

Eduardo Cisneros is always looking for new ways to improve himself, and driving a Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car certainly allows drivers to improve. Even if Cisneros finds himself off track, he is learning something that will help him the next time he races.

"Every race weekend there is always something to be proud of or something to regret, which in the end you learn from," he said. "It's such an evolving sport because you end up learning more and more. For me I think the highlight is always going back to the track and doing better than I did the previous year."

IMSA

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About this article
Series IMSA , ALMS , TUSC
Article type Interviews
Tags alms, cisneros, imsa, momo, ngt, porsche, uscc, wahab